December 2, 2008 1:07:54 am
The orphaned two-year-old baby Moshe and his nanny Sandra Samuel, along with his maternal grandparents, left for Israel tonight in a special Israeli military aircraft from Mumbai.
Baby Moshe, whose parents Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and Rivka were shot dead at Nariman House during the two-day seige by the Mumbai attackers, will stay with his maternal grandparents in Israel. Israel’s Ambassador to India Mark Sofer told The Indian Express tonight, “The baby, his nanny and his mother’s parents were taken by an Israeli air force plane at about 8 pm. The bodies of the parents were also taken, along with other bodies and their relatives in the same aircraft.”
Sofer, who has been camping in Mumbai for the last five days, attended a Jewish congregation earlier in the day where the two-year-old orphan was heard crying out for his father and mother during the memorial service.
The nanny was given a passport by the Mumbai passport office earlier in the day, following which an Israeli visa was immediately issued. “This is a very sad and difficult psychological situation for the family. She (Sandra) will probably stay with the maternal grandparents in Israel till such time the baby is comfortable in staying with them,” Sofer said, minutes after returning to Delhi late tonight.
He has since been handed to his maternal grandparents, Shimon and Yehudit Rosenberg, who flew to India from Israel immediately after the attacks. Moshe survived the attack after Sandra fled with him in her arms when militants captured the five-storeyed building which served as an educational centre, synagogue and a hostel for Israeli tourists.
In Mumbai, earlier in the day, Moshe, in a bright green T-shirt and blue shorts, was carried into a synagogue to attend a prayer meeting in memory of those killed.
Holding a ball in hand, Moshe who was orphaned on the day of his birthday, November 28, kept looking around. As the prayers started, Moshe could be seen getting fidgety and ended up crying for his parents. As the synagogue echoed with prayers, the entire gathering was seen crying or fighting back tears.
be seen trying best to hold back their tears.
“We found the child on the second floor. We had initially thought he was sleeping on the fifth,” said the caretaker of Moshe, who was rescued in a dramatic fashion by nanny Sandra Samuel.
Samuel, hiding in one of the rooms after having slammed the door on a terrorist’s face, rushed to the second floor after hearing Moshe yell out her name continuously. According to Israeli media reports, she saw the parents lying on the ground, apparently “unconscious”. She picked up the boy and and ran out into the safety of NSG commandos.
The Nariman House complex, also known as the Chabad House, has been closed since the rabbi and his wife Rivka were killed. Jewish leaders said that it would soon be re-opened. They added that after the death of the rabbi, who belonged to Chabad-Lubavitch faith, several young Chabad couples have stepped forward to move to Mumbai to continue the movement’s work.
—with agency reports
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